Ugu Bigyan’s Potter Garden
Just two hours by car from the Philippine capital, the picturesque town of Tiaong is widely known as the home of active volcano Mt. Banahaw, which many also consider the entire archipelago’s best hiking destination thanks to its staggering views across the region. If you aren’t a trail trekker, however, it’s worth journeying to the tranquil borough for a visit to Ugu Bigyan’s Potter Garden. A verdant hacienda spread across an entire hectare, it’s a lovely meander – amble between the traditional, thatched-roof cottages to find renowned ceramic specialist Bigyan’s studio, and his artisanal pottery cache within (think nature-inspired tableware, from leaf-shaped plates to whimsical bird-printed bowls).
Not content to rest on his laurels as greenthumb and ceramicist, Bigyan also dons the apron at his charming, semi-alfresco dining room, where he serves a prix-fixe Filipino feast using ingredients bought fresh from the market. Pre-book your table and expect tongue-tingling local delicacies from kulawo salad made with charcoal-fired banana hearts and a secret blend of spices, to fried lapu lapu (grouper fish) with mango salsa, to shaved-ice dessert guinumis with gelatin, sago and roasted glutinous rice puffs. Oh, Ugu!
490 Alvarez Village / Brgy Lusacan / Tiaong / Quezon / +63 42 545 9144 / 9am-5pm daily / reservations essential / facebook.com/ugubigyan